I used to do these all the time.
Just after Christmas, I’d rattle through all the movies I’d gorged on over the holidays and whack em up on this blog.
You can read the past ones here, and for me it’s like delving into a personal past I never knew existed; did I really watch Mamma Mia? And ENJOY it?!
There are some equally disturbing entries (doesn’t that sound like an early 90s psychological thriller in the mould of Single White Female… DISTURBING ENTRY) in the list below, because it was bloomin’ Christmas.
You might not watch the best films ever made around Christmas, but you tend to watch a lot of them. I know I do.
As in previous years, I didn’t watch every one of the movies below in their entirety. Some of them, sure, but others were caught for 15 minutes or half an hour – that’s the beauty of the Christmas TV schedule.
Most of the below were seen on TV, and they are listed in the chronological order in which I viewed them.
If you get the chance, give us your Christmas viewing list in the comments below. Happy new year…
1. Love Actually
Where better to begin my festive watching than with everyone’s most loved/hated Christmas movie? I love Love Actually, actually – and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Okay, I’m a bit ashamed, but as ashamed as I should be.
2. Trading Places
This has become a pre-Christmas tradition, dusting off the old DVD and lashing it on a few days before December 25. I lapsed last Christmas, but the two-year gap did me good, as this time round it felt even funnier. Clarence Beeks remains the biggest git in movie history.
My mum took me to see this in the cinema, so it will always have a special place in my heart, which is more than can be said for its star, Bill Murray, who reportedly hated it. Sorry, Bill, you’re wrong.
4. 12 Dates of Christmas
Uh… okay. This isn’t my usual Christmas fare, but it was lurking on Channel 5 on a boring afternoon so I gave it a go. Amy Smart has always been an underrated comedic actress and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (from the amazing Franklin & Bash – and some show called Saved By The Bell) pops up as the romantic love interest and… it’s really not that bad. Really.
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
From the ridiculous to the sublime. George Roy Hill’s genre-subverting classic wipes the floor with most modern movies. It’s a western where the main hero doesn’t know how to fire a gun and spends most of the running time doing just that: running away (John Wayne would never have played Butch Cassidy). William Goldman’s script still crackles nearly 50 years later.
6. Cool Runnings
Candy is the man.
7. Holiday in Handcuffs
Zack Morris isn’t the only Saved By The Beller getting up to some festive antics. In Holiday in Handcuffs, AC Slater is kidnapped by Sabrina the Teenage Witch in a bid to convince her pushy parents that she has a boyfriend for Christmas. It’s absolute drivel, of course, but it killed 20 minutes or so.
8. The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s snowbound chat-then-shoot-em-up is perfect cosy Christmas viewing… as long as you like your turkey’s juices running red. It’s as if the director took the stunning basement bar scene from Inglorious Basterds and decided to make an entire film out of it – and it’s bloody brilliant.
9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
I had forgotten Paul Rudd was in this… and how flipping funny the whole thing is.
10. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
The Alan Partridge movie is still a bit hit-and-miss, even on a third viewing, but when it hits it hits hard. ‘What’s your favourite siege?’ – ‘Iranian hostage crisis.’ – ‘Me too!’
11. The Vikings
What’s your favourite movie with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis? If you answered with Spartacus, you’re wrong – The Vikings is where it’s at.
12. The Lady in the Van
I caught the last five minutes of this, and was left as confused as all hell. Just what the heck was going on?
13. Love Actually
Yes. I watched Love Actually again. Attack me if you dare, I will crush you.
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
PoA finishes with one huge hour-long time-travelling sequence that is exhausting, but it’s also deliciously clever. Hermione’s ‘Does my hair really look like that from the back?’ might be the funniest line in the Potter movies.
This had me crying bucketloads. The true story of how the LGBT community backed the miners’ strike in the 80s, Pride is rabble-rousing, poignant and hilarious in equal measure, constantly flitting between one of several main characters to always keep you on your toes.
16. Muriel’s Wedding
I had forgotten how utterly depressing Muriel’s Wedding is until I flicked on the last 40 minutes while late-night Christmas channel hopping, but its depiction of dullness is the film’s secret weapon; life isn’t all bombastic Abba numbers, you know.
17. Death on the Nile
Just caught the last 15 minutes of this to find out which of the starry cast did it. Peter Ustinov’s Poirot had all the answers, of course.
18. Teen Wolf
When I was nine, I thought Teen Wolf was the best film ever made and couldn’t possibly be equalled. While I have since learned this not to be the case, it still has its charm. I stayed with it until the classic keg of beer scene, then went outside. I didn’t just watch movies over Christmas, you know.
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A good few Christmases ago, this was the movie that finally convinced me Harry Potter films were worth watching, and it still holds up, thanks to the stirring action of the Triwizard tournament and a really chilling ending.
20. Love Story
This one I watched in its entirety. I’d always avoided Love Story in the pigheaded belief it was over-sentimental drivel – how wrong was I? Soon-to-be college sweethearts Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw clash in the very first scene and the whole thing unfolds wonderfully from there, right up to its tear-filled ending.
21. Captain America: Civil War
This was another full watch. In the cinema, I thought Civil War might be the best Marvel movie yet, but its deficiencies become more apparent on a second viewing. It’s still terrific fun, but it might have elevated itself to the Best Superhero Movie Ever title had it contained any sense of jeopardy. At no point do you worry about the fate of any leading character, which is a shame. The airport bit is fantastic, though.
22. Muppets Most Wanted
I caught the second half of this on telly, and laughed way more than I thought I would at a film containing large chunks of Ricky Gervais.
23. About Time
I have a feeling About Time really will stand the test of that word in its title. A bit of a gem.
Anyone who dismisses Beaches as a throwaway chick flick is an idiot. It’s not a film about women – it’s a film about friendship; and a funny and beautiful one at that. Guaranteed to make a grown man cry, especially at Christmas.
25. The Great Muppet Caper
How did they do that bicycle bit in Battersea Park?! So brilliant.
26. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I watched The Force Awakens while building some Star Wars Lego – that’s how cool I am. I obviously like it if I decided to watch it for a third time, but I do hope they dispense with the action and concentrate more on the characters in the upcoming Episode VIII – there’s almost too much stuff blowing up in The Force Awakens. That bit with the upside down Millennium Falcon and the gun turret though… super.
27. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I love a bit of Potter at Christmas, and Half-Blood Prince is quickly becoming my favourite instalment, mainly because it blends the humour and the darkness so beautifully.
28. 84 Charing Cross Road
This is a film in which Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft write each other letters. That’s all that happens. And it’s kind of great. Rumour has it Michael Bay is circling the remake.
29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
My final Potter fix this Christmas. There are some Harry fans who rate this below the frankly unwatchable first two films, which is grossly unfair. Yes, our heroes spend a good deal of the action off the Hogwarts reservation in a tent, but there are so many memorable sequences, particularly Harry’s return to Godric’s Hollow and the magnificent animated tale of The Three Brothers, which is as powerful as anything else in the entire series.
30. You Again
You’ve seen them kick Michael Myers’ and the Alien queen’s respective asses – now catch Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver together in a bizarre romcom that also features Betty White, Bobby Ewing and, uh, Hall and Oates. I only saw the last ten minutes, but what a perfect way to round off my Christmas movie viewing.
WHICH MOVIES DID YOU WATCH OVER CHRISTMAS? TELL US BELOW…